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Considering Care during the Winter months

11th January

As one ages there is a fear of losing their independence and becoming lonely. Making choices as it becomes difficult to live alone is not easy. Having support and companionship overrides most fears.  There are multitudes of older people who are loved and supported by devoted partners or families, or they live in care homes.

Technology has infiltrated into every corner of our lives. Not that long ago this was seen as a good thing especially during covid as it allowed vulnerable people to continue to communicate via laptops, iPads or video calling via mobiles using different Apps. A life saver, whilst we were all advised to stay at home. Some people have adapted the way they live using technology, but some do not have the ability or access to move forward. In some cases, life has become more complicated, for example lots of facilities such as shops, car parks no longer accept cash.

Age UK is warning that the rapid pace of change in how we carry out our day-to-day activities such as shopping and keeping in touch with family and friends. People over the age of 75 are the age group least likely to use the internet. Studies found that only 15% of 2 million people who currently don’t have access to the internet would like to have the opportunity. The main reason for not having access is a lack of IT skills.

Increase in life expectancy has been confirmed by public health experts. These figures really tell us something about the health of the whole nation. Whilst research continues into medicine and treatments, life expectancy is expected to hit the 90’s. Across Europe, governments have been measuring ‘life expectancy’, alongside ‘healthy life expectancy’. This measures how long we are expected to live without any disabilities as we age; how long we can carry on living without assistance. The results show that we are living longer with disabilities. Of course, this comes with life changes to accommodate our lifestyle.

Extreme weather conditions during the winter months may restrict the way we go about our daily routine. Older people need to ensure they keep warm, continue to keep a balanced nutritious diet to remain healthy. These months can also make one feel somewhat isolated and lonely. It's important we keep regular contact with friends, and family, it's easy to pick up the telephone and check in on someone. We all want to continue the lifestyle they have been used to over the years, but our body may be telling us to slow down, this in itself can be so frustrating. There are ways we can continue these hobbies on a smaller scale. Some social activities within community groups or care homes can assist or show you how you can adapt your lifestyle when needed. Talking about these issues to others helps solve problems and helps you move forward.

Here at Swarthmore, we encourage residents to join in an activity, share sadness and laughter and offer support where needed. Preserving independence is one thing; getting back on track when things sometimes go sideways can be a challenge for all. Chair exercises, a brisk walk around the grounds or the home even if it’s 10 minutes here and there. This will keep your muscles working and is also good for self-esteem. Staff are available to walk with you, they are also there if you want to someone to talk to.

Reminiscing is a huge part of our day, and it makes people feel good talking about the past. Memories are important facts of life. If you can break a barrier in someone’s life and get them to open up, especially on a day when they don’t necessarily feel great. Try asking someone ‘what makes them smile’? You can make a difference.

Time shared between fellow residents, staff and friends gives us lots of different things to talk about. Older people shouldn’t be separated from younger people; Swarthmore has regular contacts with a few schools in the area where they engage in art classes, watch their nativities and the younger children come into the home to see the residents. Everyone is enjoying regular visits where residents and children can spend time together. We have iPads, mobile phones and more so we can assist you to keep in touch with families and friends on days when you wish to stay indoors.

Swarthmore is situated close to a high street with cafes and shops, close transport connections into London and beautiful countryside. Stunning gardens to enjoy the during the seasons. You can walk out to the shops if you wish to do a spot of shopping.

If you have any worries or concerns about moving into a Residential home, we are available to discuss. List your questions and then make a list of Pro’s and Con’s to help you decide if this is the right move for you. Here are a few words from a couple of our residents:

It takes time to settle down in a new environment. The support from your family and friends is so important during this time. The staff are wonderful. My room has an amazing view into beautiful grounds, and I have a balcony to sit out on when the weather is good”. Resident C

What’s important to me? “Having my independence, being able to continue to go out when I feel like it. Living in my own home, became a burden. I was frightened for some time after having a fall at home. I am now in a place where people are always around to help when I need it. I feel secure.” Resident D

I have a comfortable room with a view to a wonderful garden area. I can sit and watch the wildlife all day, take pictures on my iPad. Staff are amazing, they cannot do enough for me. My friends and family continue to visit me in my room which is so nice. Resident S

If you are considering moving into a care home, you may have worries whilst pondering over the facts of why its time to consider the move. Day-to-day chores becoming too much? Do you feel isolated? These are questions that most of our residents experienced when considering care. It’s not an easy decision but having someone to discuss all your concerns helps lighten the load.

Discuss with families and friends and feel free to contact Swarthmore Residential Care home to arrange a viewing or discuss your requirements. Contact us on 01753 885663, Option 1. Come and try a month’s respite, hopefully this will give you an insight into residential care. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Why Winter Sparks Care Home Enquiries